Page 958 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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It was a sizzling hot time in the Nation’s Capital on the last weekend of February this year. Not only was the temperature sizzling, but also the Salvo Expo marquee was sizzling with activity, music, devonshire teas, cold water and information stalls.

From the time the marquee opened there was a buzz of activity. The temperature soared to 32 degrees on the second day and the RSDS van handed out over 1,600 litres of free water to keep people hydrated as they enjoyed the Show. Overall the RSDS guys handed out over 2,300 litres of water and lots of great meaningful stories were shared under the canopy.

The atmosphere in the marquee was electric with the Salvo Country Band playing for the whole weekend. They ministered to people through song and word, but when taking a break, they shared their stories with many people who were sitting having a scone (or two). Sunday morning was a great time of gospel music and sharing about the love of God. Many people commented that it was like going to a church service in the deep south of America. On both Saturday and Sunday people spontaneously danced to the music.

The Salvation Army provided Chaplaincy over the whole weekend to the whole show. Each Chaplain walked around the Show and they were well received and so much appreciated. This service commenced last year at the request of the Canberra Show Organising Committee due to the need from the farming community.

Another highlight of the ministry within the marquee was the OASIS Street Van. Shane Mount drove the bus from Sydney on the Thursday afternoon and stayed right through the weekend. Over 200 young people visited the van over the weekend to enjoy the games and using the internet. There were other fun activities available free to all the kids, these included face painting, balloon sculpting, creating rice balloon yoyos, and free show bags & give aways.

On Saturday afternoon, the brass band and timbrel brigade from the Tuggeranong Salvos march from the Salvo Expo Marquee up to the ActewAGL Stage where they performed a 30 minute concert. They entertained the crowds with a range of music from the Beach Boys to favourite gospel classics.

The Sydney Youth Band came to play in the marquee on Saturday evening. Bally from the Agents of Truth walked around handing out balloons, red frogs, popcorn and the Divisional Z Card, which has information of all the services in the ACT area. The SYB were a crowd stopping favourite.

Around the inside of the marquee people could go around the many stalls and find out about the variety of ministries that The Salvation Army provides. From Aged Care Plus, to youth ministries, Moneycare, Employment Plus, Salvos Legal, Salvos Stores, Will and Bequests and even a stall to sign up and become a volunteer for the Army—the stallholders shared with visitors and received a great response.

While all this was happening the kitchen was rocking with the amount of scones, jam and cream that they were handing out. Over the whole weekend, over 2000 people were served in the tent and enjoyed a place to come, sit and relax (and dance). All of this was free.

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